Jaguar Land Rover tests autonomous parking on public roads

Your car can find a spot for you.

Plenty of cars will help you park, but the biggest challenge is frequently finding a spot in the first place -- it's no fun to circle the parking lot for 10 minutes. Fully autonomous cars can ultimately take care of this, but Jaguar Land Rover is demonstrating a feature that would help in the meantime. It recently expanded its public semi-autonomous testing in the UK to include a "self-driving valet" where vehicles both find open spaces and park themselves. The company pitches it as eliminating some of the drudgery of driving, letting you take the wheel when you'd genuinely enjoy it.

The automaker has also been testing other connected car features, including a collaborative parking feature where vehicles share info about free spaces as you approach a parking lot. Other tests included warnings from emergency vehicles, advance warning of sudden braking, dangerous intersection warnings (to avoid merging into extra-busy traffic) and optimal traffic light data to prevent you from running a red.

It's not certain if or when this technology might go into full-fledged use; it's part of an ongoing partnership with the UK Autodrive project. However, it would be relatively easy to implement the autonomous parking given that it's only tackling a small portion of the driving experience. Connected features are another story -- they'd depend a multi-manufacturer standard that let vehicles share their status.